Norway City Council to seek public feedback on fluoridation

NORWAY — Following a recommendation from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, the Norway City Council delayed any action on whether to continue adding fluoride to the city’s water system in order to receive public input.

The city of Norway has not added fluoride to the water system since January 2022 when there was electrical damage to the building that houses the fluoridation system.

In Michigan, municipalities are not required to add fluoride to the water but EGLE requires that Norway either resume adding fluoride or pass an ordinance to stop adding it.

The city currently has a bid of $13,904 to repair the electrical system. Water Department Supervisor Dave Bal says that additionally the holding tank for the fluoride needs to be replaced along with some plumbing work and other repairs to the building.

Adding fluoride to the water system would cost between $1,400 and $8,400 a year, money the city currently budgets.

City Manager Dan Stoltman reported that there is potentially a grant available for up to $25,000 from the Department of Health and Human Services for upgrades to fluoridation systems.

“If there is state money out there that can get us back to where we need to be, that is great,” council member Jeff Muraro said.

Stoltman noted that Norway is the only city in Dickinson County that was adding fluoride to the water. Stoltman also said that he has worked with cities that were for and against fluoride and he would offer no opinion on what the council should do.

According to Bal, fluoridation began around 1992. Nobody seems to remember if the decision was made by the city council or a voter referendum. If the decision was made by referendum, it needs to be repealed by referendum.

Stoltman said a notice seeking the public’s input would be put in the newsletter that accompanies the water bill and residents are encouraged to attend a city council meeting.


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